Originally from Brice Prairie, Wi., Spencer Schaller’s love of the kitchen stemmed from an early age, as he spent much of his time cooking for his large family alongside his mother and grandmother. At the age of 19, Schaller moved to Colombia and fell in love with food after eating his way through the country, sparking his desire to turn his passion into a career.
In 2010, Schaller returned to Wisconsin to jumpstart his culinary career at The Waterfront Restaurant in La Crosse, where he worked his way up from line cook to lead line cook. He then ventured to Charleston, S.C. to expand upon his skill set, staging at Husk Restaurant and later moved across the pond to cook at Mews of Mayfair in London.
Schaller ultimately returned to Wisconsin in 2015, joining the team at the award-winning Driftless Café in Viroqua as the Chef de Cuisine. There, he helped develop the daily menu, working to create and execute dishes based on the local produce and meat that were delivered that morning. Schaller left Driftless Café to open Lovechild Restaurant in La Crosse alongside acclaimed chef Jay Sparks and then was hired as the Executive Sous Chef of the Charmant Hotel in 2017 to oversee kitchen training and menu development and execution.
In July 2018, Schaller was promoted to Executive Chef of The Charmant Hotel. In his role, he will oversee the menus for the hotel’s many F&B outlets including The Restaurant, Parlour, and the Rooftop Terrace along with catering/events and room service, placing a continued emphasis on locally-sourced products from Wisconsin farmers. Schaller will continue to perfectly execute The Restaurant’s staples, but will also be incorporating new dishes that showcase handmade pasta, produce from an expansive lineup of local purveyors and eventually, housemade breads and pita.
Schaller currently lives on a farm in Coon Valley, Wis. with his wife, their dog Hudson and two goats.